This message was so profound to me. I have experienced and maybe even been a party to some of the actions listed in the message. Good reading.
A THOUGHT FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH (OR ANY MONTH FOR THAT MATTER)...
Crabs in a barrel. The metaphor used to describe a group who refuses to support a member who wishes to rise above the clamour. The group will grab the prospective dissonant with their claws and pull him/her back down to their level. The problem with this metaphor is that it is also commonly used to describe African-Americans and our attitudes toward each other. Women are catty toward other women who may be prettier or wearing nicer outfits. Brothers trying to make it out of the hood are called "sell-outs" by their supposed friends. We can't even stand together long enough to stand for anything.
A brother will call a sister with a good job "uppity" and decide that she's too high maintenance for him without even considering the fact that she may be driving her nice car to an empty home. Some of us see our friends making progress and envy them, rather than encouraging them. "Oh she thinks she's cute, I can't stand her." Well damn, if I don't think I'm cute, who else will? It's a crying shame that people from other ethnic backgrounds will live 20 to a room if necessary in order to push forward, but many of us are so busy trying to impress the "Jones" that we live check to check dodging creditors to support a lifestyle we can't afford.
My only question is “Why?”
Why is it that the same supermarket cashier that smiled and chatted with Becky, turns to me with a sneer when I pay for my purchase with a debit card rather than a food stamp card?
Crabs in a barrel! Can I live?
Why can't we be supportive of one another? Why do we have to sleep with someone else's husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/booty call just to get a laugh at their expense?
Crabs in a barrel!
Why is there still some small area in the back of some of our minds that still says that "The Cosby Show" wasn't real? Wasn't representative of Black life? But Martin and Menace to Society were? Come on! Why are we still surprised to see African American CEO's?
Crabs in a barrel!
These are all symptoms of the same mentality and if we are to make any progress as a people, it has to change. If we are to get past this handicap, we need to address it, deal with it and begin to encourage and embrace one another. I'm not talking about just in front of the cameras and the podiums.
I'm talking about every single day. We can't expect to be treated with respect by outsiders if we can't even respect each other. They laugh at us and our misguided ways, while they use their networking skills and connections to look out for each other whenever possible. It is unfortunate that so many of us were brought up in loveless environments where envy and jealousy were the only valid emotions. It's a shame that so many of us were told by our loved ones that we wouldn't amount to anything, but the blame game won't get us out of this mess. The only way to combat this legacy is to look in the mirror and change what you see until the person staring back at you is someone that you can truly love and appreciate. There is no true love without self-love.
We were a race of kings and queens. We moved mountains with our minds until we were robbed of our birthright and taught self-hatred. It is time to reverse the wrongs. You can remove a king from his throne, but you cannot take from him his royal blood. Cherish the beauty from whence you came!
Now... your (Mandatory) Homework: Come up with at least ONE way you can eliminate the "Crabs in a barrel" mentality within yourself, exercise it and share it with your brothers and sisters.
Live, Love & Laugh
GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM!